A. The Theocratic Age

"Since the literary canon is at issue here, I include only those religious, philosophical, historical, and scientific writings that are themselves of great aesthetic interest. I would think that, of all the books that are in this first list, once the reader is conversant with the Bible, Homer, Plato, the Athenian dramatists, and Virgil, the crucial work is the Koran....

"I have included some Sanskrit works, scriptures and fundamental literary texts, because of their influence on the Western canon. The immense wealth of ancient Chinese literature is mostly a sphere apart from Western literary tradition and is rarely conveyed adequately in the translations available to us."
(Bloom, p. 531)

The Ancient Near East

Ancient India (Sanskrit)

The Ancient Greeks

Hellenistic Greeks

The Romans

The Middle Ages: Latin, Arabic, and the Vernacular Before Dante

B. The Aristocratic Age

"It is a span of five hundred years from Dante's Divine Comedy through Goethe's Faust, Part Two [1321-1832], an era that gives us a huge body of reading in five major literatures: Italian, Spanish, English, French, and German. In this and in the remaining lists, I sometimes do not mention individual works by a canonical master, and in other instances I attempt to call attention to authors and books that I consider canonical but rather neglected. From this list onward, many good writers who are not quite central are omitted...." 
(Bloom, p. 534)

Italy

Portugal

Spain

England and Scotland

France

Germany

C. The Democratic Age

"I have located Vico's Democratic Age in the post-Goethean nineteenth century, when the literature of Italy and Spain ebbs, yielding eminence to England with its renaissance of the Renaissance in Romanticism, and to a lesser degree to France and Germany. This is also the era where the strength of both Russian and American literature begins."
(Bloom, p. 540)

Italy

Spain and Portugal

France

Scandinavia

Great Britain

Germany

Russia

The United States

D. The Chaotic Age: A Canonical Prophecy

"I am not as confident about this list as the first three. Cultural prophecy is always a mug's game. Not all of the works here can prove to be canonical; literary overpopulation is a hazard to many among them. But I have neither excluded nor included on the basis of cultural politics of any kind."
(Bloom, p. 548)

Italy

Spain

Catalonia

Portugal

France

Great Britain and Ireland

Germany

Russia

Scandinavia

Serbo-Croat

Czech

Polish

Hungarian

Modern Greek

Yiddish

Hebrew

Arabic

Latin America

The West Indies

Africa

India (in English)

Canada

Australia and New Zealand

The United States

Source: Bloom, Harold. The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages. Appendixes. New York: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1994. © 1994 by Harold Bloom.